Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Potato Soup & Bread bowls

I'll admit, this recipe is basically word for word from Southern Living via MyRecipes.com , but it presented some challenges that I had to remedy on my own. First of all- I was certain that a KitchenAid was going to be on my wedding registry, but I'm doubly sure of it now. I can remember making breads with my grandmother (who had a KitchenAid herself) and doing tons of kneading, which was a fun "old-fashioned" experience for me. But I found my little hand mixer just wouldn't get all 7 cups of flour into the dough and ended up doing a lot of it by hand. Also, the bread bowls seemed really small. I may just be used to Panera's gigantic sourdough bread bowls, but it didn't seem like you could get a whole serving of soup in there.

Luckily the soup was pretty low maintenance. Just throw a bunch of stuff in the crockpot, set the timer and forget about it. I think the recipe is a good basic potato soup but I think it could be much better if you played around with different ingredients and maybe some additional spices. Overall, a good recipe for a fall day.

Italian Bread Bowls
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 (1/4 oz) envelopes active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all- purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

1. Stir together 2 1/2 cups water and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in salt and oil.

2. Add flour gradually, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft dough forms.

3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (4-6 minutes). Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

4. Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.

5. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

6. Stir together egg white and 1 tablespoon water, brush over loaves.

7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10-15 minutes more or until golden. Cool on wire racks. Freeze up to 1 month if desired.

8. Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4 inch thick shells. Reserve centers for other uses. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.

Potato Soup
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots thinly sliced
2 celery ribs thinly sliced
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup half and half

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in 4 1/2 quart slow cooker.

2. Cook, covered at HIGH for 3 hours or until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir together flour and half and half; stir into soup. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve in bread bowls.


  1. Dana, I bake a loaf of bread once a week, and I do it all by hand. It's not that hard, but the amount of bread you were making was enough for 2 loaves, which is why it was so hard to do. Try cutting it in half next time, or try this recipe: http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/grandmother-bread/. That's the recipe that my bread morphed from. It's really good and VERY easy.

  2. Good to know. I didn't mind so much that I had to do it by hand- it was actually quite therapeutic- but I think the issue was that it wasn't going the way I thought it should have. I think next time (if there is one) I'll break it down into halves at the very least.

    Good for you with making your own bread every week! I've often thought I'd like to have homemade bread on a regular basis. I'm sure that after work some days punching that dough down and kneading it is pretty therapeutic for you too!